Cranberry Granola Breakfast Bars

Cranberry Granola Breakfast Bars

Cranberry Granola Breakfast Bars

I just can’t resist beautiful red cranberries that taunt me to make them into something enjoyable like these cranberry granola breakfast bars. Every year I eat a raw cranberry (by itself) and I get that same surprised look on my face, or so I am told. Perhaps I am a slow learner? Seriously, it’s like a yearly tradition. These little guys are super tart and yet exciting. A welcome break from sweet and savory, they linger in a category of their own.

With a fresh batch of granola, a hankering for some shortbread and plenty of fresh cranberries, I was able to make some irresistible breakfast bars. See photo above.

I added some freshly grated orange zest to the shortbread crust for a bright flavor. I reserved some of the dough from the crust to make a little bit of crumble topping with a sprinkling of granola to top it off. The crumble layer (as you can see) is covered with toasted oats that give these bars a breakfast-like appearance. I think I just needed an excuse to eat shortbread for breakfast. :)

The crust part of the recipe was adapted from the King Arthur Flour shortbread cookie recipe since I just had to have a shortbread crust. :) I knew I could trust the King Arthur flour recipe to be a close base to what I needed since I enjoy their recipes. Don’t be surprised if you see shortbread cookies here very soon…

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving week, from my family to yours!

Spoil your family over the holiday season or leave this recipe open on your computer as a “hint” for someone to make as a treat for you!

Cranberry Granola Breakfast Bars

Cranberry Granola Breakfast Bars
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


These breakfast bars have an enticingly bright flavor that compliments the cranberries. Less sugar than dessert bars, these Cranberry Granola Breakfast bars are a great start to your day!
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
Serves: 20

  • 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. almond flavoring
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of chopped pears
  • 1½ cups of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of homemade granola

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a 10 inch by 10 inch baking pan with parchment paper on all sides.
  2. Add sugar and orange zest to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium low speed for 3-4 minutes until zest and sugar are well combined. Take just a moment to enjoy the crisp fragrance of the citrus!
  3. Add butter, salt, vanilla, almond extract and cinnamon. Mix until creamy and fluffy. Add flour and mix until combined. This dough will seem a bit dry at first, but keep mixing. It will come together.
  4. You will need ⅔ of the dough for the bottom crust. Press dough into the bottom of your parchment lined baking dish, making an even layer.
  5. Add your pears and 1 cup of cranberries, lay them on top of crust layer in your baking dish.
  6. Add granola to the remaining dough and mix together. It is ok if all the granola does not stick to the dough. Crumble your dough-granola mixture in your fingers, creating almost a full layer of quarter sized or larger dough crumbles over your pear and cranberry layer. Pour loose granola over the top of the crumbles.
  7. Scatter your remaining ½ cup of cranberries over the granola and crumbles. Bake for 40 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Cool completely by placing pan on a cooling rack before cutting and serving.

  1. Taking On MagazinesTaking On Magazines11-26-2013

    I want those. Really, really badly. I adore granola bars and love cranberry. And shortbread; swoon.

    • Dionne BaldwinDionne Baldwin12-01-2013

      I wish I could email you some! Shortbread is my weakness for sure. I think there is more in my future.

  2. Kate@DiethoodKate@Diethood11-26-2013

    My mouth is wide open waiting for a batch of these beauties!!!

    • Dionne BaldwinDionne Baldwin12-01-2013

      I’ll have to make you a fresh batch because these got eaten up very quickly! :)

  3. Now that is a breakfast my kids would love. What beautiful bars. I love the punch of the cranberry tartness with the richness of the shortbread and the crunch of the granola!

    • Dionne BaldwinDionne Baldwin12-01-2013

      Thank you Kristen! The orange zest gives it such a bright flavor that leads into the tart cranberries in such a way that seconds are almost a requirement. :)

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